Blunders of pandemic proportions

... Swine Flu, Bird Flu, COVID, Variants

"We shouldn’t forget that this is not the first time a spectre of devastating pandemic has grabbed headlines and altered government policy".

When Professor David Mabey from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wrote this, it was for an article published over ten years ago during the Bird Flu panic. The pandemic came to nothing, but left a legacy of wasted millions.

It seems that Pharma have learned the lessons from history, and that commercial imperative with politics will always aim to co-opt the science to their purpose. The only difference now is that the consequences of the political blunders just get more eye-watering each time.

Do we ever learn from recent pandemic history?

Prof Mabey went on to say that, "in 1976 the highly hypothetical suggestion of a ‘Swine Flu’ outbreak drove the American administration to initiate a population-wide vaccination campaign. Ultimately there was no pandemic – just a lot of people with Guillain-Barre secondary to the vaccine. The current panic should therefore be considered with that note of caution in mind".

Have we been fooled (again)?

Despite the big flap ten years ago, as with Swine Flu, in the end there was no Bird Flu pandemic. However, this did not prevent Roche Pharma scoring record sales with their Tamiflu product, which was broadly advertised for them across all usual mainstream media outlets including the BBC, (who in addition always used the branding as opposed to the generic drug nomenclature).

Tamiflu, one of the most expensive drugs, with little known efficacy and short shelf-life was purchased for vast swathes of the population for a disease that ended up not being there. Drug marketers were stunned at the revenues they generated and with the scale and commercial success of their Tamiflu campaign. However, even these sales now pale into utter insignificance in comparison to the record financial returns now being announced by Roche, Pfizer and Astra Zeneca, for example.

Ministers wasted billions on Tamiflu

Do governments ever learn? In the last bird flu flap, according to the FT "Scientists say UK ministers wasted millions on flu medicine". They go on to state, "There appears to be no evidence for patients, clinicians or policy makers to use these drugs to prevent serious outcomes, both in annual influenza and pandemic influenza outbreaks".

As the BBC reported, "The UK has spent £473m on Tamiflu, which is stockpiled by governments globally to prepare for flu pandemics". The Cochrane Collaboration claimed the drug did not prevent the spread of flu or reduce dangerous complications, and only slightly helped symptoms.

Of course, the same now seems to be happening with COVID mRNA vaccines; we are now informed that even a double-jab will not prevent us getting the disease, or stop us from spreading it. However, it might reduce symptoms, but then so do a lot of things - including ivermectin (for pennies!).

See also interview with Dr Tess Lawrie explaining effective treatment for COVID including ivermectin.

Spectres of devastating pandemic

... we won't get fooled again.

So, ten years later has anything actually changed? Do we have a repeat of "a spectre of devastating pandemic", that "grabbed headlines and altered government policy"? 

It did not start well back in 2020. From the outset there was extreme confusion over the source of this new virus and those suspecting a Wuhan lab leak were instantly condemned as conspiracy theorists. However, it now looks as though the conspiracy theorists are being proved to have a point. Furthermore, we are told there is a second lab in the locale conducting similar experimentation. We have been subjected to daily, highly manipulated news reports producing data on so-called "cases" and deaths based on re-defined causes of death. These were the very numbers underpinning - or excusing policy-making decisions, and so their inaccuracy has been fundamentally misleading.

Now, it seems that yet again history has indeed repeated itself again. In her article for the Daily Telegraph, We’ve been fooled – two jabs won’t buy you holiday freedom after all, Annabel Fenwick Elliott makes the following top ten points:

1. Being jabbed won’t stop you spreading.

2. The vast majority of us weren’t at risk anyway. 

3. You will not be prevented from being a carrier.

4. According to Public Health England levels of virus in those who become infected with Delta having already been vaccinated may be similar to levels found in unvaccinated people. This may have implications for people's infectiousness, whether they have been vaccinated or not.

5. NHS Covid passes of little value.

6. UK festivals and other mass events are switching their entry requirements to require a negative test of everyone – regardless of vaccination status.

7. According to the government's own calculator Annabel's risk – as a reasonably healthy 34-year-old – of being hospitalised with Covid-19 is 0.0218 per cent, and risk of dying is 0.0007 per cent.

8. Herd immunity via double jabbing is an unobtainable myth.

9. People around the world are still passing the virus to and fro despite being inoculated.

10. Countries with highest vaccination rates also have highest "case" rates.

Annabel concludes saying, "But all those with a saviour complex who had their jabs in an evangelical quest to ‘protect others’ should dismount their high horse. And all those who did so purely in pursuit of an easier holiday have every right to feel grumpy".

The public has been misled

Over ten years ago we were confronted with constant BBC news around Bird Flu scares and plugging of the Tamiflu brand. However, it is worth recalling what was then subsequently reported by the BBC a few years later - Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug:

Another justification for stockpiling was to slow the spread of the disease to give time for a vaccine to be developed. The report's authors said "the case for this is simply unproven" and "there is no credible way these drugs could prevent a pandemic". It also claimed that the drug had a number of side-effects, including nausea, headaches, psychiatric events, kidney problems and hyperglycaemia. Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and one of the report's authors, told the BBC: "I think the whole £500m has not benefited human health in any way and we may have harmed people. The system that exists for producing evidence on drugs is so flawed and open to misuse that the public has been misled." 

Dr Tom Jefferson, a clinical epidemiologist and former GP, said: "I wouldn't give it for symptom relief, I'd give paracetamol."

Has vaccination and lockdown made any difference?

Has vaccination and lockdown made any difference? Well, not if the Swedish model is anything to go by and as Tom Jefferson (now Professor) says more recently of SARS-CoV-2, "I am not convinced the path of the pandemic has much to do with our interventions".

Indeed, we are now even learning how the concerns were not unfounded over how the narrow antigenicity of the new mRNA gene therapies can cause 'selection pressure' on viruses. An increasing degree of immunity in the population favours virus variants that can partially escape the body’s defences. This may explain why coronaviruses would normally only mutate slowly (compared to flu viruses), but how this narrow vaccination approach may in fact provide the additional environmental pressure to allow vaccine escape, and accelerate the emergence of variants.

Public policy blunder

As Allister Heath confirms for the Daily Telegraph, history has indeed repeated itself. He says," So now we know: Sweden got it largely right, and the British establishment catastrophically wrong. Anders Tegnell, Stockholm’s epidemiologist-king, has pulled off a remarkable triple whammy: far fewer deaths per capita than Britain, a maintenance of basic freedoms and opportunities, including schooling, and, most strikingly, a recession less than half as severe as our own".

He goes onto say,"Our arrogant quangocrats and state “experts” should hang their heads in shame: their reaction to coronavirus was one of the greatest public policy blunders in modern history".

greatest public policy blunders in modern history

Big Pharma cannot necessarily be blamed for creating and exploiting opportunities. After all, if a market doesn't exist for your product - you have to create one. However, politicians are supposed to have a role in protecting the public, public health - and the public purse.

If the science is meant to underpin the policy then the science has to be independent of all political and commercial pressure. This has clearly not been the case from the outset.

As Allister says, "This is a catastrophically high price tag for the British state’s systemic incompetence, the uselessness of Public Health England, the deep, structural failings of the NHS, the influence of modelers rather than proper scientists, the complacency, the delusion, the refusal to acknowledge that the quality of the British state and bureaucracy are abysmally poor'.

COVID-19 Assembly - In an open letter to the government and it's advisors, they say:

Our grave concerns about the handling of the COVID pandemic by Governments of the Nations of the UK.

We write as concerned doctors, nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals with no vested interest in doing so. To the contrary, we face personal risk in relation to our employment for doing so and / or the risk of being personally “smeared” by those who inevitably will not like us speaking out.

We are taking the step of writing this public letter because it has become apparent to us that:

  • The  Government (by which we mean the UK government and three devolved governments/administrations and associated government advisors and agencies such as the CMOs, CSA, SAGE, MHRA, JCVI, Public Health services, Ofcom etc, hereinafter “you” or the “Government”) have based the handling of the COVID pandemic on flawed assumptions.
  • These have been pointed out to you by numerous individuals and organisations.
  • You have failed to engage in dialogue and show no signs of doing so. You have removed from people fundamental rights and altered the fabric of society with little debate in Parliament. No minister responsible for policy has ever appeared in a proper debate with anyone with opposing views on any mainstream media channel.
  • Despite being aware of alternative medical and scientific viewpoints you have failed to ensure an open and full discussion of the pros and cons of alternative ways of managing the pandemic.
  • The pandemic response policies implemented have caused massive, permanent and unnecessary harm to our nation, and must never be repeated.
  • Only by revealing the complete lack of widespread approval among healthcare professionals of your policies will a wider debate be demanded by the public.


A substance that prompts the immune system to fight infection with antibodies. Full medical glossary
A condition that is linked to, or is a consequence of, another disease or procedure. Full medical glossary
A viral infection affecting the respiratory system. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
An organ with the ability to make and secrete certain fluids. Full medical glossary
A high level of glucose in the blood. Full medical glossary
Prefix suggesting a deficiency, lack of, or small size. Full medical glossary
A viral infection affecting the respiratory system. Full medical glossary
An element present in haemoglobin in the red cells. Full medical glossary
One of two bean-shaped organs that are located on either side of the body, below the ribcage. The main role of the kidneys is to filter out waste products from the blood. Full medical glossary
An outbreak of infection that affects numerous people in different countries. Full medical glossary
A craving to eat non-food substances such as earth or coal. Full medical glossary
rheumatoid arthritis Full medical glossary
septic arthritis Full medical glossary
One of a class of drugs that inhibit cholesterol formation in the liver. Full medical glossary
Affecting the whole body. Full medical glossary
A waste product formed from the breakdown of proteins. Full medical glossary
The means of producing immunity by stimulating the formation of antibodies. Full medical glossary
A microbe that is only able to multiply within living cells. Full medical glossary
Microbes that are only able to multiply within living cells. Full medical glossary